Tag: Arena

The Flame Kingdom’s Generals rise from the ashes

The Flame Kingdom’s Generals rise from the ashes

Boy Intelligent Systems sure has been relentless with all these new character banners lately.

Within the span of two-or-three weeks, we’ve gotten Genealogy units, Fates units and these Múspell units all in a row. Plus the return of the original Performing Arts banner for… Some reason.

Seriously IS I don’t understand why we brought that one back out of nowhere. Would’ve made much more sense alongside the festival units who essentially served the same purpose for this year.

But I digress.

On the bright side, these new units kind of stand on their own. They’re basically in the game because their story arc just ended, so there isn’t any sort of pomp and circumstance adding them in. We just saw the story they go along with, so no paralogues or anything to help flesh them out.

Sucks for anyone looking to nab some extra orbs, but it makes my job here today much easier.

So let’s see what these three generals bring to the table.


HelbindiSavage Scourge

Skill Set:

  • BÝleistr (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • At the start of odd-numbered turns, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted even if no allies are adjacent).
  • Vengeance (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage dealt to foe by 50 percent of damage dealt to unit.
  • G Duel Infantry (A Skill)
    • Grants Health +5. If unit is five star and level 40 and unit’s stats total less than 170, treats unit’s stats as 170 in modes like Arena (higher-scoring opponents will appear, stat total calculation excludes any values added by merges and skills).
  • Guard (B Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 80 percent, inflicts Special Attack cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Infantry Pulse (C Skill)
    • At start of turn one, grants Special Attack cooldown count -1 to all infantry allies on team with Health < unit’s Health (stacks with similar skills).

Analysis:

To get to the elephant in the room right away, Helbindi and Laegjarn share the same A Skill, just for different contexts. I’m not huge into the competitive Arena scene, so I can’t tell you what it means for a unit’s stats to be treated as 170 outside of what the skills mention — the fact that higher-scoring opponents appear.

What that means I couldn’t necessarily tell you. You’d have to ask my friend Jonathan about that, because he’s very into the competitive Arena scene. I just love the characters.

That said, a Health buff is a nice compensation for people like me so it doesn’t seem like that A slot is wasted.

As far as Helbindi specifically goes, his weapon is kind of phenomenal, and his other skills that essentially vampire Special Attack cooldown for your team from the enemy team work well together.

But that weapon is what really stands out. We’ve had Odd or Even Wave attacks on a number of units (including Laevatein in this banner), but none of them have buffed every single stat. That’s kind of crazy.

Essentially, Helbindi is a unit that goes berserk every other turn. His stats get cranked up and he’s probably built up enough charge to release his Special Attack by then. I personally would replace Vengeance, but it’s the thought that counts.

He’s a solid green axe infantry unit in a pool that doesn’t have too many standout options.


LaevateinSearing Steel

Skill Set:

  • Laevatein (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. Adds total bonuses on units to damage dealt.
  • Swap (Range = 1)
    • Unit and target ally swap spaces.
  • Fury (A Skill)
    • Grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3. After combat, deals 6 damage to unit.
  • Attack/Defense Link (B Skill)
    • If a Movement Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack and Defense +6 to unit and target ally or unit and targeting ally for one turn.
  • Odd Speed Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Speed +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent.

Analysis:

Laevatein is probably my personal favorite of the three units here. From the very first opening trailer for Book II, when she and Alfonse duked it out in front of Surtr’s castle, I already loved her design. Then (Spoiler Alert) the fact that she was the only surviver by the end of Book II, left to be the next queen of Múspell, almost felt like a justification for that love.

In practice as a unit, she actually strikes me as being very similar to infantry Eirika — which again helps her stand out because Eirika has been my flagship unit in this game since forever.

If you count her weapon and the Link skill buff (though I’m not a huge fan of it generally), Laevatein can boast a 28+ Attack to her base stat every turn. Which is kind of wild, especially since she also gets a bit of a Speed and Defense buff in that perfect circumstance. Also Resistance thanks to Fury, but that’s a smaller deal.

Yet, on top of all that, she also has cumulative damage based on the bonuses she has applied. Her sword is literally a close-combat blade tome.

Which is pretty nuts?

Like I’m sure she’s a glass cannon to compensate that kind of power, and infantry units aren’t as great at abusing this kind of ability as the other three movement types, but it’s still just such a sweet base skill set.

I really like Laevatein, okay? I know everyone’s all over Veronica and all… So let me have this one.


LaegjarnSheathed Steel

Skill Set:

  • Níu (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. Adds 50 percent of total bonuses on foe to unit’s Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance during combat.
  • Bonfire (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent of unit’s Defense.
  • R Duel Flying (A Skill)
    • Grants Health +5. If unit is five star and level 40 and unit’s stats total less than 170, treats unit’s stats as 170 in modes like Arena (higher-scoring opponents will appear, stat total calculation excludes any values added by merges and skills).
  • Chill Attack (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Attack -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Attack through its next action.
  • Distant Guard (C Skill)
    • Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses bow, dagger, magic or staff, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”

Analysis:

Laevatein’s older, deader sister feels a bit like diet Laevatein when just looking at her weapon specifically, but she adds a bunch of utility as a dedicated flying team unit.

Adding on stat buffs based on an opponent’s buffs is much more situational than a blade tome effect that you yourself control, even if it makes her more effective at tackling powerful enemies. Chill Attack and Bonfire are clearly meant to help with this as well, so it’s clear Laegjarn wants you to use her to kill off whatever Ayra or Zelgius the opponent is packing.

Her Duel Flying skill does the same thing as Helbindi’s skill, so I can’t speak to that much more beyond it being specifically for flying units.

Distant Guard is a nice skill for her as that dedicated flying unit, as it gives her flying allies a defensive buff when encountering bow-wielding units. The only problem is that +4 Defense probably won’t do much against the super effective bow damage, so it’ll wind up being more useful in making magic resistant fliers more resistant to it.

So… Yeah. I like Laegjarn as a character, but in terms of skills I’d almost consider her the most hit-and-miss of the three generals.

Plus I wouldn’t replace my Elincia even if I did get her. So sorry about that.


As I mentioned up top, there is no story section for this post. No extra orbs or anything.

Luckily I still had about 150 orbs stored up because of how easily I got the three girls of the Fates banner (who I’m still training up thanks to the recent event modes taking up my stamina, but that’s another story).

Thus I was able to dedicate everything I had toward summoning these Generals. It’s actually kind of a special banner considering they are original characters to Heroes, so they’re a bit more special than the units from other games — even if they’re fan or personal favorites.

But uhh…

I didn’t have to dedicate a lot of orbs to the task.

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I actually somehow managed to get the unit I really wanted on my first batch of orbs. I could probably stop now if I wanted and be happy about it, in all honesty.

But I won’t. Because I have a problem.

I’ll just be sure to space out my orb use a bit, just in case Intelligent Systems decides to curveball and throw us a Sacred Stones banner next. Or an Echoes banner.

Seriously it’s been forever since we’ve seen those games IS. Just give us something.

Except don’t give them toes when I have no resources to allocate. Thanks!


Well, that’s about all I’ve got for this FEH post. It’s a shorty boy because all we got was the new units, and honestly I can’t really complain about that.

It’s refreshing to have one of these posts where all I need to do is the fun part. Copying out skills and stuff in my little special pattern.

But of course we still need to get to the Call to Action formality.

What do you think of the Múspell Generals? Do you have a favorite, either by skills or by characterization?

Let me know, and let me know who you want to see next as well! Obviously IS is on a roll with giving us these guys, so I’m sure we won’t have to wait to long.

Dancing right into Version 2.8.0

Dancing right into Version 2.8.0

Today we got a brand new bunch of dancin’ fools in Fire Emblem Heroes on top of the ramifications of the latest version update that came yesterday.

That’s a lot of ground to cover, so I’m not going to waste your time with a flashy intro.

Let’s just see who’s new and what they can do!


XanderDancing Knight

Skill Set:

  • Dusk Uchiwa (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against cavalry foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Close Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Quick Riposte (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 70 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Odd Defense Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Analysis:

If I’m just being honest, the most important thing about this Performing Arts Xander is his dance.

Like. I don’t know how Intelligent Systems did it. But they created literal perfection.

Outside of that dance animation, however, he still seems to be one of the most worthwhile heroes on this banner to summon. Like every hero here, his weapon disables priority-changing skills on top of being effective against a specific kind of unit.

Plus he comes with three passive skills, again like every unit here. I don’t know why IS decided to make these dancers so stacked, but I’m not complaining.

Xander is obviously built to be an interesting defensive dancing dagger user. His close combat lets him hit from one space away, where his Wave and Quick Riposte can help him survive an attack and hit back twice.

If his stat line is any good, he’ll be an interesting character to throw onto a team.

Mainly because of that dance, though.


ElinciaEstival Princess

Skill Set:

  • Cloud Maiougi (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Attack/Speed Push (A Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health = 100 percent, grants Attack and Speed +5, but if unit attacked, deals one damage to unit after combat.
  • Rockslide Dance (B Skill)
    • If Sing or Dance is used, grants Speed +3 and Defense +4 to target.
  • Drive Resistance (C Skill)
    • Grants Resistance +3 to allies within two spaces during combat.

Analysis:

Elincia holds the distinction of being the very first colored dagger unit in Fire Emblem Heroes. Hurray! Congratulations on your accomplishments girl, you’re doing the Radiant games proud.

Now I already have a pretty strong tie to Elincia as a unit in FEH because she’s such a powerful staple on my flying team. One that I happened to summon when I was in the hospital.

Unlike Xander, her skills are a little more spread around and don’t fit one play style in particular. But they leave her more readily available to fill a variety of niches.

She can be a solid blue dragon killer with that dagger of hers and the Attack/Speed Push. Probably combined with a healing skill.

Or she can be focused purely on buffing dances through that double stat improving Rockslide, improved further by her ability to grant Resistance buffs to nearby allies during combat.

There’s just a lot of potential with her, and I’d be excited to summon Elincia as well.


RyomaDancing Samurai

Skill Set:

  • Sky Maiougi (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against armored foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Triangle Adept (A Skill)
    • If unit has weapon-triangle advantage, boosts Attack by 20 percent. If unit has weapon-triangle disadvantage, reduces Attack by 20 percent.
  • Chill Defense (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Defense -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Defense through its next action.
  • Spur Speed/Resistance (C Skill)
    • Grants Speed and Resistance +3 to adjacent allies during combat.

Analysis:

Ohh, so sorry Ryoma. If only you were one reveal ahead, you could have been our first colored dagger unit.

Luckily we have a consolation prize in the form of a very special niche for you to fill as a red armor killer.

Yeah, oddly enough this unarmored lobster seems built to kill powerful red armor units like the Black Knight or Zelgius. He has color priority on a ranged weapon that’s boosted by Triangle Adept and effective against armor units specifically. Plus, he inflicts a hell of a defense debuff at the beginning of each turn.

Now I can’t promise Ryoma will be defensive enough himself to tank a counterattack should his effort to kill fail, but still. Thanks to canceling out abilities like Vantage he may actually have a chance to be a super solid tech choice on teams that are weak to red armored boys.


MicaiahSummer’s Dawn

Skill Set:

  • Dawn Suzu (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against armored and cavalry foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Attack/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Fireflood Dance (B Skill)
    • If Sing or Dance is used, grants Attack +3 and Resistance +4 to target.
  • Resistance Ploy (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Resistance -5 on foes in cardinal directions with Resistance > unit’s Resistance through their next actions.

Analysis:

Color me impressed, every single unit on this banner is actually friggen useful. Micaiah here because she carries a legendary weapon with double ranged type effectiveness that cancels out abilities like Vantage while also lowering an opponent’s resistance and boosting her own Attack and Resistance during battle.

Yeah that’s front loaded I know, but it’s really solid on paper.

Of course the Fireflood Dance is a bit more situational as it seems better fitting for a purely supportive dancer, but hey. Maybe she’ll be a great offensive and defensive dancer.

Seriously I don’t have too much to say here because she’s just a good unit. I do wish she had a red dagger just to round out a banner full of each other colored dagger… But beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose.


I don’t think I can state enough how great every unit on this banner is. Seriously, if you didn’t waste too many orbs on the last Summer/Awakening/Legendary banners like I didn’t, you can have a good time stacking your roster with dancers that can fit on a variety of teams.

Personally I think Elincia and Ryoma are my favorites just based on skills alone. But I’d frankly be happy to get any of them.

In fact, for that reason I’m spending a whole bunch of my ~170 orbs on this sucker. Though probably not enough to go below 100 orbs considering all of the summoning banners coming up soon…

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But with my recent lucky streaks, I should have a good time here, right?

Actually, interestingly enough I have been rather lucky. Just… Not in the way that I’d like to be.

I’m admittedly not entirely sure where these three came from. Micaiah was sort of funny just from the novelty of her alternate skin being in this new banner, but the other two were just. Eh.

I didn’t have a five-star Shigure before, so he’s got some catalog novelty, but Sonya is unfortunately just merging fodder.

So yeah, three five-stars in about 70 orbs. Can’t necessarily complain since my friend Jonathan didn’t get anything tonight… But boy do I want to complain about only getting duplicates.

At least there’s a whole month to score some silly dancers! Plus, the story mode we got to accompany this Paralogue is as interesting in lore as it is useful for orbs.


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Unlike most Paralogues in Fire Emblem Heroes, I would argue the ‘Festival in Hoshido’ Paralogue is much cooler for the story it presents than the pretty art style.

Though that, of course, is just as pretty as ever.

We start off, as you can see, with some exposition by the great Lobster himself regarding the history of the Hoshidan festival. He’s introducing the festivities to Princess Elincia, who has been invited to partake alongside Micaiah. Also Xander. But he’s just right across the gorge so it’s a little bit less of an interesting invitation.

The stakes are raised very quickly when Loki shows up to remind the two that they’ve been put into a contract by Veronica. As they distract the Order of Heroes, who have come to protect the festivities:

Loki goes off to investigate whatever it is she has come to Hoshido seeking. Something that I’ll get into in a minute.

Already this plot is more engaging than the fifth session of Anna tries to sneak peeks at naked Heroes to raise money.

Even if Sharena doesn’t seem to be taking it too seriously.

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As the Order makes their way around, they then come across Xander giving some similar exposition to Micaiah.

While Loki arriving to put a wrench in the festivities was already an interesting point of contention, Xander adds more depth into this particular event by explaining how he’s there in more of a peaceful mission following the conclusion of Fates.

That’s actually some pretty cool world-building. Especially in a world where heroes from other realms can show up to experience the same activities.

It kind of makes up for the fact that I was upset seeing another Fates-based alternate art banner. Even with the Radiant representation, we just have way too many Awakening/Fates characters getting special treatment at this point.

Anyway, once the Order arrives at the final stage, Loki adds even more intrigue to her arrival at the festival.

Yeah, that’s right. Loki is after Anakos. ANAKOS of all things.

Apparently a fire dragon god isn’t good enough for the Múspell army. Now to be completely honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of this ultimate dragonic antagonist in Fates. Especially following Grima in Awakening, he was just sort of forgettable and weird.

But if they incorporate him into the plot of the mobile gotcha game somehow, I’m all in IS. You’ll have us good.

I agree completely.

But am also very invested in exactly where this sideplot is headed.


Normally I would just conclude my pieces here with a quick question about who you’re most interested in summoning off the banner and what you think about the suddenly interesting developments in the Paralogue story.

But this time I have a little more to jump on.

Version 2.8.0 dropped yesterday, and while it may not have added enough to warrant a full post yesterday I still wanted to dedicate some time to it. Because you know. I like cataloging this stuff.

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A lot of what was implemented here are minor adjustments to pre-existing modes. Adjustments that don’t really do a lot for me specifically.

First and foremost is a new tier being added to the Arena. Once players hit tier 20, now they can go further and become a Great Summoner. Anyone who does gets an aesthetic crown mark on top of Feh’s head on the home screen.

I’ve never made it to tier 20. So… Yeah. Doesn’t mean too much for me.

Intelligent Systems also added in the ability to have multiple skill sets for each unit. That way you could have a build if your Reinhardt is on a cavalry only team versus if your Reinhardt is on his own. For example.

There’s also some more options in the allies menu to sort different combinations of favorite characters together. But that’s another functionality I never used in the first place so… Yeah. Again.

Probably the only thing that was added which I could actually see myself using is the Order of Heroes weapon refines.

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Perhaps these three could actually be useful now! Which would be very beneficial to new players especially.

With those changes out-of-the-way, everything else is summed up as minor additions. Very cleanly summed up by this succinct list:

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Gaining extra rewards during Grand Conquests is probably the best thing just in this section alone, though I am very interested to see what it will be like to play tap battles at triple speed.

Also I would be interested in having my orbs hit quadruple digits. But that’s a different story.

That’s about all I have to say for Fire Emblem Heroes for the day.

Since I was already on track for this earlier, let me know what you think about those questions I asked in the comments! Based on the events calendar, it’ll be a couple of weeks before one of these shows up again. Considering I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who enjoys them, hopefully you all enjoy the hiatus.

Fire Emblem Heroes Version 2.5.0: The Aesthetic Update

Fire Emblem Heroes Version 2.5.0: The Aesthetic Update

I’ve been a bit busy throughout this last week finishing the Spring 2018 semester, so I wanted to make sure I spent the weekend talking about recent updates to Fire Emblem Heroes.

Because really what else do I do with my free time?

There was a large-scale update and a brand new summoning banner put out over the last couple days, so in today’s post I’m going to focus on the 2.5.0 Update and tomorrow I’ll focus on the latest Genealogy characters.

With that said, there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get into it.



The 2.5.0 Update is here, and it brings along a number of changes to existing game modes and aesthetics throughout the game.

There is not exactly a lot that’s “substantive” to this new version of the game, unlike previous versions that did things like add entirely new ways to play. As a result this update update (totally not clunky at all) will probably be on the shorter side as I just go through my thoughts on what is new.


Arena Updates

 

Easily the largest changes of the bunch came to the OG Arena.

BECAUSE NOW IT’S IN A DIFFERENT COLOR!

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That sweet, sweet dark tone really makes a true mirror to reflect the darkness in my soul as my units smite all others in their path.

Okay fine, that’s not actually the blunt of the update to the game’s Arena mode, but I did want to point out the fact that the assets were altered because… I’m really not sure why they were altered.

Were the original colors not visually pleasing enough?

Is this darkness what the developers wanted to reflect with their competitive mode all along?

The world may never know.

The actual major update to this mode is the shift from seven battle chains to five, and the subsequent item system that accompanied it:

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I do like the idea of making overall season chain necessities shorter, as well as adding an item for each battle in the chain to entice people to get a ranking at least once.

However, it does bug me that they decided to go from seven battles to five.

Seriously whose bright idea was it to take a game mode where the swords used to take part come in intervals of three and not make the overall requirements come out to some interval of three? It’s honestly kind of asinine and bugs me from a part of myself that I can’t readily explain in such a short timeframe.

Luckily they decided not to make me chuck my phone at a wall by also implementing Bonus Ally benefits for a season’s token heroes.

The Bonus Ally system, in which the characters specifically named get additional stat buffs if you use them, has always made Tempest Trials a great deal more fun. I still can’t get over the time when Christmas Lissa tanked everything during her Tempest Trial, or when Reinhardt did just a few weeks ago when his retrain came out.

Now that Arena characters get this same kind of boost, it makes everything feel so much more copacetic when it comes to summoning new banner heroes.

Now, not only do we get new characters for the catalog, but those characters are more likely to help us get better benefits in the Arena seasons. All things considered it’s a genius addition, and just about makes up for the whole lack of even numbering.


New Weapons

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A couple of beloved characters are finally getting the special weapon treatment they deserve.

It’s one of the things I really appreciate about how Intelligent Systems has handled updating their game over time, actually. While most units inevitably get power crept, more stuff is added to benefit the older heroes to ensure they still maintain relevance — either in battle or through skill inheritance.

The latest update brought three heroes back into the limelight. Two by granting brand new weapons and one by adding a special upgrade.

  • Camilla — Bewitching Beauty
    • Everyone’s favorite over-sexualized older sister (something the universe will have to remind me never to write out again) has a brand new weapon, giving her further utility than she was able to achieve with a Brave Axe. Camilla’s Axe has twice the might as a Brave Axe+ and grants her +4 Attack and Speed if there is a cavalry or flying unit nearby. While this does make her a more effective member of a flier emblem team, it might arguably be worse than a Brave Axe depending on who you ask. It is a cute reference to the fact that all of her siblings are on horseback, though.
  • Corrin (male) — Fateful Prince
    • Corrin is a unit that literally everybody has wanted to see get a cool upgrade in the Weapon Refinery. Yato was such a neat weapon in Fates that it’s not hard to imagine why. Though I personally think it’s a missed opportunity not to offer him three upgrade paths for the Yato based on the three paths it can take in Fates, the upgrade we got is a neat reference too. With the upgraded Yato, allies who have a support with Corrin gain +4 to all stats when within two spaces of him. Somewhat situational, but like I said a cool little reference. The scary part of this comes when, as my friend told me, you can have three upgraded Corrins provide +4 to every stat of an ally three times over… THAT is dangerous.
  • Clair — Highborn Flier
    • Like Camilla, Clair’s Silver Lance can now be upgraded into the Rhomphaia. Coming from Shadows of Valentia, the weapon adds one more might point and grants her super effective damage against armored and cavalry opponents. It’s simple. It’s effective. It’s just a great upgrade that makes Clair that much more viable. Unfortunately, it cannot be passed onto another unit. That’s really the only downside as far as I can tell.

While all three of these characters have been improved by their upgrades (except debatably Camilla), I’m not sure I’m more enticed to use any of them.

Perhaps if we get Scarlet to appear one day I’ll make her a perfect husband Corrin to turn her into the relentless beast she always deserved to be. But that’s a long shot at this point, so I’ll continue to dream…


Tap Battle and Rival Domains

The two images above essentially sum up everything that has been changes with these game modes. So I won’t break down the information, but I will briefly react to it all.

Tap battles have never been a game mode that I enjoy. For the most part I don’t like them because they’re seriously underutilized. Seriously Intelligent Systems, awards only once per level when there are four different ways you can play that level? With no benefits for completing all four varieties?

Plus, don’t even get me started on the fact that music repeats between versions of the game mode despite putting gaps between them.

In a way, the addition of hero merit boosting for heroes who participate does help. It encourages playing through those four different varieties of the levels at least.

But my issues, for the most part, do still stand.

Rival Domains, however, have had an improvement that I can get behind more readily. Not only have the selection of characters been pre-determined rather than randomized, which makes it easier to go through and learn how to properly be a stage, but they also made it easier to beat by restricting the ability of enemies to attack after warping.

Simple changes, but effective in terms of making things more straight forward and easy to defeat. Unlike with the tap battles, this actually makes it way more enticing for me to play the game mode.

Thus, I deem this section a success and a failure. Hopefully tap battles will eventually get better enough that I feel they’re worth bothering with more often.


Tutorial Adjustments

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So this is another category where there was a significant change that I frankly don’t have too much to say about.

Essentially, there have been adjustments to the game’s tutorial mode to bring it more up-to-snuff with how much the game has developed in the time since it came out. For veteran players like me, that means next to nothing. I did the tutorial a long, long time ago.

The developers knew this was the case for many of their players and offered up some extra awards.

As the picture above shows, most of the rewards were feathers and badges. A good amount of them too. But what really stood out was the character:

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When we played through the tutorial originally, the first hero everyone received after the original three members of the Order of Heroes was Virion from Fire Emblem Awakening.

Now players receive Takumi from Fates, who is not only a better character but a generally more relevant one. So veteran players got an extra Takumi too.

I appreciate the gesture, as well as the opportunity to give another unit close counter.


Additional Changes

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Alright, while this picture here sums up everything else that’s changed pretty succinctly, there were a few other things I noted that I wanted to point out.

First off, look back at the second bullet up on the list there. Apparently some options are available in the Sacred Seal Force that are new, but I have not been able to figure out what they are.

I sort of imagined that meant there were going to be new seals to forge but…

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Nope.

Oh well. Some should come eventually, right?

… Right?

Well, I digress for now. That’s a story for another day probably.

As I’ve mentioned here or there throughout this post, there are also a lot of aesthetic changes that came from this update.

For example, the main maps screen has a similar visual change to the arena screen.

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Then there are smaller visual tweaks, like the inclusion of an indication as to which units get bonus points in rival domains.

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But hey, none of these are as important as a single change that’s hidden away on the menu screen.

See this option?

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Well… Now we can do this.

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Isn’t it just beautiful?

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I could stare at it all day. *Insert crying tear here*


And that, ladies and mentlegen, is a not-so-short summary of everything new in Fire Emblem Heroes this week.

Er… MOSTLY everything.

As I mentioned at the beginning, there was also a new summoning banner dropped the other day. But this post is already getting a bit long in the tooth, so stay tuned for part 2 coming out tomorrow.

Or, if you’re reading this way in the future, just check it out through this link here.

In the meantime, let me know what you think about this update in the comments down below! What aspect of it do you think is the best? What part do you think is the most disappointing? I’d love to hear all about it.

Fire Emblem Heroes’ Book II update – Part 1

Fire Emblem Heroes’ Book II update – Part 1

So remember a few days ago when I said I was going to be taking a hiatus from doing blog stuff because of finals coming up soon? Also remember when I said I would probably come back early if the big update we’ve been waiting for in Fire Emblem Heroes came out?

Well, it came out. So here I am, a few days late as usual, but still quiet excited about the huge volume of things added. Huge enough that I’m splitting this post into two posts, one to go over the mechanical changes and one to go over the big story additions.

It’s a large task at hand, and I’d rather not be up all night doing it, so let’s get going shall we?


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Version 2.0.0 is here, bringing with it Book II of the game’s story and some game-changing new additions. Like I said above, I go more into details on what Book II entails in this post here, so let’s dig more into what’s different about the Heroes experience from a technical level.

First and foremost, I would say the most immediately striking thing about this update is the User Interface changes, most of which contribute to making a more engaging and aesthetically pleasing experience.

Most notably to me was the menu background changes:

 

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Though these appear to be small additions, the change is actually fairly big all things being equal – and much appreciated at that. Most of the time spent playing Fire Emblem Heroes, while not specifically in battles, is spent on these menus deciding what to play and how to play it. Thus, having something new to look at all these months later is pretty wonderful in my opinion.

Especially since the new backgrounds look way better than what we had before.

The new menu backgrounds are also joined by other aesthetic differences to things like actual menu layouts and designs, including the addition of ‘Seasons’ in the main hub.

 

These seasons tie into another brand new concept introduced in Version 2.0.0: Legendary Heroes.

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Fjorm, along with just about everything else I’m talking about here today, was introduced a while back during an episode of Feh Channel that I didn’t really talk about. Mostly because I knew eventually I’d get into a long post like this once the actual updates came out.

I’ll talk more about Fjorm’s role in the ever expanding story later on, so for now what you need to know is she’s a princess from an icy land near Askr who does cool flips, buffs her allies according to the in-game season and is just generally overpowered and great.

Legendary Hero blessings are a somewhat inherently confusing mechanic that I’m not even sure I full understand just yet, so I’ll let the game explain the blunt of it for now:

 

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While I believe I understand the idea of applying a blessing to an ally who is going to be fighting alongside Fjorm during a Water season so they can get a substantial boost, what I’m still iffy on mostly ties back to some small questions that I’m sure will make sense as I actually get the chance to play with the mechanic. Where more blessings come from, whether or not the blessings last forever, whether you can have multiple blessings active at once… Things like that.

One thing I can say I understand about Fjorm is her summoning banner, which is extra special in a number of ways.

Firstly, it features a huge number of five star focus heroes rather than three or four like we usually get. Twelve to be exact.

Second, in that pool of twelve five star focus heroes, four of them are extra special seasonal heroes back from the dead. Spring Camilla and Xander return in their Easter bunny-themed attire alongside Bride Caeda and Cordelia from the June special banner. Though the two bride heroes are the ones I had personally pulled from the original, both the spring heroes are novel for my collection.

Third, not only are there a large amount of special heroes featured, but the banner has an inherent eight percent summoning chance for those special heroes. Eight percent! For context, most banners start at three percent, so eight is incredible.

Of course that eight percent hasn’t helped me out very much. I’ve only managed to pull one five star focus hero after blowing a ton of orbs, enough so that I’m probably going to wait and save up the rest of the orbs I can get with the special events going on right now for the Fates children coming in a few days.

Though I can’t complain all that much, since this is the hero I pulled.

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Spring Camilla is quite the meme in my circle of friends for her… Well, sizable assets. So it’s honestly rather hilarious to me that I pulled her, as did a few of the others in my circle. She refuses to leave us alone.


Cute ice princesses and well-endowed bunny princesses aren’t the only things that are special about this update. There’s a much bigger mechanical addition to the game that once again seems to be shaking up the game’s tier list for useful heroes:

Weapon refining.

To unlock weapon refining, you have to go through a quick story mission, but it’s relatively separate from the Book II stuff, so I’ll go into it here.

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The Rite of Blades intermission has one battle, which begins with a setup that introduces you to a mysterious girl in your dreams.

As it’s later revealed, Gunnthrá is related to Fjorm and wishes to help you prepare by gaining access to a new power.

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By following her directions, the Order of Heroes arrives at a shrine where they must fight through a number of guardians to make their way to a tablet inscribed with Emblian text.

Your team decides to take that power and use it for your gain, because honestly how could they not?

The story leading into weapon refinement is simple, yes, but it sets up an interesting addition to the game.

As the text shows, refining weapons… Well, makes them more powerful. As obvious as that must sound. However, it does so at the cost of a ton of materials, so it must do something weighty, right?

It does, in fact. Most legendary weapon-wielding heroes can make use of the refinement to give their weapons a variety of buffs.

To show this off, Eldigan has the best example of these buffs for my purposes:

Mystletainn, one of my favorite weapons of all time in the Fire Emblem universe I might add, can be adjusted in a number of ways for the right price. One adjustment gives it the effect of Fury 3 inherently, boosting all of Eldigan’s stats at the cost of some life points with every hit. Eldigan comes with Fury naturally, so he has double the boost for double the cost. One adjustment increases his health and defense while also making it so he activates special attacks faster.

These extra weapon upgrades open up lots of opportunities for new strategic character builds with some high potential. A wide range of units can make use of these kinds of upgrades, too. Minerva is another unit I own who can have her weapon refined, and I know I want to take advantage of both possibilities.


While there are a few other small but important updates that came with this version, such as Staves getting a power boost to make healing units more useful, lowered special attack cooldowns in some cases, an increased barrack size to hold more units and an adjusted stamina use in story missions… Well, I just laid it all out right here. So I didn’t think I needed to go too much more into it.

From here, it’s time to go into the story changes that came with Book II’s addition. Unless of course you’re coming from that post to this one, in which case you’ve hit the end of the double update road, bucko. Congratulations!

Though of course I’m prone to breaking my own already thin fourth wall, so I’ll let you all know that I’m planning on writing the second half to this update later this afternoon or tomorrow… Since it’s about 2 a.m. right now.

So much for getting in and out quick on this one.

Oh well, either way look forward to seeing more later or tomorrow regarding my thoughts on Book II and what it brings to the table! Plus, now that December has hit, we’re going to be getting a new summoning focus soon with some heroes from Fire Emblem Fates… Including one of my favorites, Soleil. So I’ll probably be talking about that too.

Plus, in non-gaming news, I also have probably two more stories that will be coming out in the Daily Titan by the end of the semester, and some projects I’m doing might be worth putting up here as well. Look forward to that in the near future!

The Fire Emblem Heroes mid-April trilogy: Starter Support, Version 1.6 and the upcoming Tempest Trials (take three)

The Fire Emblem Heroes mid-April trilogy: Starter Support, Version 1.6 and the upcoming Tempest Trials (take three)

As promised, here we go again with the Fire Emblems. Because of all the work I’ve got slated this week between DT orientation and my Gladeo internship, I decided to make this a larger overarching post regarding lots of stuff that’s going on in the game right now. It’ll be easier for me that way, rather than splitting things up into three smaller posts, and I’m sure it’ll probably be easier for anyone who actually pays attention to these notifications on social media.

Speaking of, shoutouts to Kaleb for reminding me to treat my Fire Emblems to a nice dinner, and to Gerry who’s probably going to try summoning as soon as he sees this.

Now without further adieu, let’s get going shall we?



The Starter Support event

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The Starter Support event isn’t a new happenstance in the world of Fire Emblem Heroes. What it entails boils down to a new summoning banner called the Hero Fest, which has an increased chance to summon strong and highly desired heroes, as well as an influx of extra orbs to help summon said powerful heroes.

Though I didn’t pay it much mind before, this time around I have tried my hand at the Hero Fest.

We’re only a few hours in and the banner has already hurt me.

As I mentioned in my previous Fire Emblem Heroes post, I did not partake in the previous Hero Fest. However, the content of this banner was extremely enticing from the moment I opened up the game:

  • IkeYoung Mercenary
    • Hails from the Radiant series, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn and Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
    • A powerful sword-weilding red unit that holds the sword Ragnell, giving him a built in long-distance counter, and abilities to make use of his high attack stat as a means of buffing his power further.
  • JuliaNaga’s Blood
    • Hails from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
    • A green tome unit who wields the Book of Naga, helping her serve as an effective dragon killer alongside the powerful special attack Dragon Fang.
  • NinianOracle of Destiny
    • Hails from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
    • A blue dragon unit who also has the ability to dance for allies, giving them a second movement or attack option during one turn. Also comes packed with Fortify Dragons, allowing her to increase the stats of adjacent dragon characters.
  • GennyEndearing Ally
    • Hails from Fire Emblem: Gaiden and it’s remake Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
    • A colorless cleric unit who can use the Gravity attack to slow other units to one movement space per turn and who comes with the rare Wrathful Staff, giving her staff attack similar damage calculations to regular weapons.

Seriously, all of these heroes are great! Even if Genny is more of an intrinsic fan-favorite level of great as far as the unofficial hero ranking lists are concerned.

It’s hard to pass up Ike, an intense and widely popular swordsman; Ninian, a blue dragon that has an ever-coveted singing ability; and Genny, hands down my favorite character from Echoes. I can pass on Julia, however. Nino and Summer Elise already fill the niche she would try to take up more than well enough.

The Hero Fest banner increases prospects of summoners pulling these focus heroes by increasing the initial summon rate from 3% to 5%. That may not seem like a lot, but in a game where summons are totally based on the random number generator, that 2% makes a pretty big difference in the end.

In fact, those three desirable heroes with a boosted drop rate is such a great deal that I decided to start blowing my orb surplus already. I know I keep bringing up my surplus like it’s a child I’m frivolously wasting away or something, but as I’ve said before it really is more of an issue to me mentally. The safety associated with having lots of orbs is one of my personal idiosyncrasies when it comes to FE:H.

Unfortunately the used fruits of my labor have not blossomed into any flowers of brilliance based on the first big binge I undertook.

For context, I did my first two summons with all five orbs just to boost the rates of getting the focus Heroes overall, then stopped summoning green heroes as, like I said, Julia is not in my sights this time around.

While having a second Eirika is cool, as is getting my hands on new characters with Mae and Athena… Overall most of what I got was either garbage or skill inheritance fodder.

Feels bad, man.

On the bright side, the other part of the Starter Support event is a log-in bonus of two orbs a day for ten days. Not necessarily consecutive days I might add, but it’s going to be consecutive for me. Add those free orbs to the six-month anniversary free orbs AND the orbs that we’re going to be getting from the next Tempest Trials (to be discussed later), and thinking it over does admittedly make me feel less bad about the desire to funnel orbs into the Hero Fest banner.

Whether you take the positive or the negative approach to looking at summoning, here’s hoping things wind up going well down the line. For me and for everybody else putting their money on the line for the next week!



The Version 1.6 Update

Editor’s Note: A couple of the things technically associated with this update were items that I discussed in my last post about the six-month anniversary of the game – namely the changes to the summoning system. A lot of the reasons for updating the game tied back to the fact that it hit that milestone, after all.

Thus, I’d recommend going back and taking a look at that post for some of the summaries of things that have changed. I’m going to be talking about some new ones of course, but that’s a good place to start.img_5861

In regards to what has been changed in Version 1.6, the biggest thing first and foremost, besides the summoning alterations, is probably the addition of the Arena Assault game mode.

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Arena Assault sits alongside Squad Assault as a challenge requiring players to have plenty of powerful units to show their worth. Although Squad Assault focuses on playing through a series of story mode maps and Arena Assault focuses on playing against teams put together by other players, both follow similar ground rules.

In the Assault games, the aim is to beat a number of challenging fights in a row. For the two Squad Assault maps (as a second was added with the 1.6 update), this entails five story missions. For the Arena Assault game, this entails seven battles against player-built teams.

The catch is that once you beat a round with your team, the units on that team are unusable for the rest of the challenge. Thus players need a large collection of powerful units to truly succeed, as just having one ultra powerful group of units won’t help when they get cycled out of usability.

Beyond featuring different battles, Arena Assault offers quite a few other differences compared to its predecessor. Namely: Special items.

These items are awarded to you for completing runs of the Arena Assault and have a variety of cool effects. One restores all of your unit’s health whenever you need it. One gives each of your units an extra space to move. One allows them to take a second turn in a round. One buffs all of their offensive and defensive stats for a battle. So on and so forth.

According to the chart we were given, when you win three matches against teams with lv. 35+ opponents, you earn one item. Five matches earns you two items. Seven matches earns you three items. Simple as that.

You can only take three of these items with you per-run of the Arena Assault, so collecting and using them sparingly is going to be the name of the game. However, I can see them being very useful in the right circumstances, especially since you get more rewards the further into the challenge you manage to get.

Just like in the regular Arena, the higher your winning streak is, the higher your overall rank will be. Both will allow you to receive goods at the end of a season, each of which which lasts a week at a time.

Your rank at the end of each season earns you both Hero Feathers and a new item called Sacred Coins. While the use of these Sacred Coins has yet to be unveiled, I’m willing to bet there’s going to be a store that will open after the first season ends that will allow players to buy special items for future runs.

On top of that, there are going to be daily missions available for participating in Arena Assault runs:

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Requiring players to get through a certain amount of battles consecutively may seem unfair to some extent… But considering the Arena Assault games cost literally nothing to participate in (unless you decide to use your special items), it’s definitely a nice way to provide some extra goods over a long period of time.


That just about sums up everything in regards to Arena Assault, so let’s move into the second big addition of the Version 1.6 update: The Catalog of Heroes.
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Here’s an addition to the game meant to scratch that “Completionist” itch hiding out in probably just about every gamer out there.

The Catalog of Heroes serves as a database housing the information of every hero in the game based on the amount of heroes you personally have seen or summoned.

Heroes you haven’t had any interaction with whatsoever (not including battling them) are completely unavailable for you to look at. Heroes who you’ve seen through means like story cutscenes are available as silhouettes with names, but not much else.

For heroes you have personally summoned, however, you get a bit more.

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The screen you can access with heroes you’ve summoned give you a couple of things to do. Not only do you get the names and miniature biographies of the character in question, you also get to see their portraits and battle sprites at all times, plus you can hear whatever noises and soundbites those include. The new and cool feature of the Catalog is that it allows you to reread the character’s summoning text and the text you unlock when you bring your five star unit up to lv. 40.

The Catalog of Heroes boils down to being a slightly interactive checklist, letting you keep track of which heroes you have and have not gotten access to during your time playing the game.

On the one hand it’s an arguably negligible addition if you don’t care much about collecting. Rereading the text from one-time only events is cool, but otherwise most of the other things the feature offers were already available if you still have copies of units in your barracks.

On the other hand, if you are a collector, having a comprehensive list of characters in one place is actually super dope. There are little visuals cues included that fans of the Fire Emblem series will appreciate, namely the fact that characters are displayed in order of appearance. Both for games and for characters specifically.

For example, Marth and his merry band in the original game appear before Alm and Celica’s armies in the second Fire Emblem game. Yet there’s also organization within the games, as you can see with Fire Emblem Awakening, in which the order goes from Chrom to Robin to Lissa to Frederick to Sully… So on and so forth.

While I’d say the feature is neat and visually appealing, I’m personally not super concerned with collecting EVERY single character considering the sheer amount of characters and the degree of randomness required to summon them. I appreciate the addition and I’ll probably use it frequently enough, but I wouldn’t call it a game changing addition.

For me personally, at least.


Finally, just like last time a major update rolled around, I’ll handle the smaller-scale updates in more of a lightning round format.img_5862

  • The boosted hero merit cap is pretty dope, since it means each hero has the potential to provide an extra 1,000 hero feathers. Never a bad resource.
  • Having a card to represent the Log-In Bonuses are cool and all, but it’s purely aesthetic. Nothing too weighty here.
  • Toggling units in the Training Tower is something I took note of early and took advantage of very quickly. Seriously, especially when you’re doing things like the monthly ‘Beat level 10 with only x kinds of units’ missions, this is an immensely helpful way to get the best bang for your buck while training.
    • I also figured I would add that there’s a new way to look at your list of teams while building them on the Allies screen, but since I didn’t see it anywhere on the update logs I felt like it seemed to fit alongside this change.
  • I haven’t noticed a strength adjustment in the Training Tower as of yet, but I guess that’s probably useful.
  • Again, a change in experience and skill points in either the Arena, the Training Tower or both isn’t something I’ve noticed, but I’m sure it’s helpful.
  • More aesthetics, this time on the settings screen. Ohh. Ahh.
  • The idea of skipping teams with no members when selecting what team you want to go to battle with is a relatively small change, but it’s a nice quality of life improvement all things considered.
  • I don’t have the Summer Gaius, but I guess maybe he was just too sexy for the game’s good. Who knows.

Now, even with all of that out of the way, I technically haven’t actually hit every single update as of yet. But that’s only because the final piece of this puzzle takes the form of my next overarching topic of conversation:



The Tempest Trials: Reunited at Last

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So obviously this event isn’t active as of the time that I’m writing this. It starts tomorrow, but I’m going to be off working most of the afternoon so I probably won’t have a lot of time to write about it then.

I could stay up really early into the morning to talk about it, of course… But considering that’s what I’m doing right now, I don’t feel like it’ll be the best plan of action for me to do two nights in a row.

Luckily, we preemptively know just about everything that’s going to be different about this cycle of the Trials, so I’ll be able to discuss my thoughts without having to experience it. I’ve already slogged through two previous entries in the series for some background, after all.

In case you want to catch up on my adventures through the trials, you can here for the first and here for the second.

The second version of the Trials made the overall experience much easier by fixing things so that enemy teams would be easier to take down over time, even after your teams start to get worn down.

This version promises to add more value to the Bonus allies while still making it simpler to hit higher goal markers, something I know I’ll be shooting for.

Bonus allies have been a staple of the Trials since the very first event. Essentially, eight units provide an extra score multiplier to your overall run when used on at least one of your teams. Four of those units are considered more valuable and give bigger bonuses than the other four, and those heroes are the focus of a summoning banner that runs throughout the duration of the Trials.

This time around, my diligence during the last Echoes summoning banners has served me well.

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Because I already own a Delthea and a Sonya, I’ll be able to make use of the bonuses they provide without having to blow any orbs on this banner. Considering the Hero Fest is more of an area of interest for me right now, that’s certainly nothing to complain about.

Starting with the Reunited at Last event, Bonus allies are now being given more value. When you use them on a team, not only do they get double experience and skill points, they are also going to get extra stat buffs. +4 to attack, defense, resistance and speed as well as a whopping +10 to health.

Not gunna lie, that’s crazy. 10 extra health alone is nothing to sneeze at, and when you add on the rest of the stat buffs there is plenty of incentive for me to use both Delthea and Sonya to breeze through everyone and everything.

Adding that incentive to using the Bonus heroes is great, especially since the extra score multiplier will make it that much easier to score all the prizes. We already know that Clive, who appeared in the most recent Echoes-themed level set, is going to be the unit prize.

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I’m afraid I won’t be able to predict what the Sacred Seal rewards are going to be, however… That’s one of the unfortunate detriments to doing this preemptively.

Using the Bonus heroes more won’t be the only way Intelligent Systems has increased the chances of getting the rewards this time around. One of the other changes implemented will make the first two attempts at the Trials each day worth triple their overall score. On top of that, they’re adding lower level units to the normal difficulty runs, and although that doesn’t apply to me I do appreciate the attempt to make completing runs easier for new players.

Ties in well with the Starter Support event, after all.

The only other big change to the Trials will be the addition of a continuous auto battle function. Due to the tedious nature of slogging through tons of runs at the event in the past, this change is really valuable to make a casual experience out of grinding. That casual approach might not be the best considering you could lose more easily, but still. I can certainly see myself using it just to rack up points without needing to be too attentive.

That’s about all I’m about to talk about regarding the next Tempest Trials. Like I said before, I won’t be able to predict the Sacred Seals, the special final battle map or how everything is going to tie into the overarching storyline of the Tempest (other than the fact that Alm and Celica will be reunited, obviously) due to the fact that I’m writing this before the event takes place.

If there winds up being something significant I see that I desperately want to mention, maybe I’ll put something out here for it. Otherwise, those details might just become a small mention in a later post.



Alright so let me be honest, I’m a little burnt out right now. I’ve had a couple long days in a row on account of Daily Titan orientation and I probably stayed up a little too late writing this, so I’m going to make my conclusion here nice and simple.

You’ve already read like 3,100 words, so you deserve to be spared of my tyranny.

Out of the three facets I discussed in this post – the Starter Support event, the 1.6 update and the Tempest Trials – which do you think provides the coolest things to the game? Obviously one option technically adds more than the rest, but each do have their own individual focuses and merits as far as helping players and fans, improving the inner and outer workings of the game as a whole and providing more fun challenges in the game.

Let me know in the comments down below, and I’ll see you again probably in the next couple days as I talk a bit less about video games and a bit more about my life outside the digital domain.